How can Go win?

"President Duterte is staking his name for his loyal assistant."



That unprecedented event at the Comelec where no less than President Rodrigo Duterte accompanied his favorite assistant, Christopher “Bong” Go, when the latter filed his certificate of candidacy, raises several questions.

Is Mr. Duterte now staking his credibility and reputation, and is Go now his personal candidate? If Go makes it—despite what the polls are saying—then well and good. If he does not, what does that mean for the President? Is Mr. Duterte staking his position on just one man?

I think the President was ill-advised in accompanying his minion to the Comelec. A big mistake, indeed!

It would appear that the President wants to control the Senate by having somebody loyal to him there. This, when the Senate is an independent and highly regarded institution.

Who is Go anyway? The only thing we know about him is that he has been the personal assistant of the President for two decades. What qualifications does he possess? What experience in governance and legislation?

And then, there is that report of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism. Go’s family supposedly cornered P2.4 billion worth of public works projects. And yet Go says he has nothing to do with these.

President Duterte has said Go was a billionaire. Just how he did it is another matter altogether.

Earlier on, when the face of Bong Go appeared in billboards, he denied he was already campaigning. Go was also seen distributing relief goods to calamity victims.

Go’s candidacy is a test for the President. If he still wins despite his low poll ratings and the fact that people don’t know anything about him, it will show the people trust the President.

* * *

Mr. Duterte says government resources will not be used for administration candidates. I have heard that before.

When I was younger, I used to join campaign sorties of administration candidates for the Senate. I knew too well who was footing the bill—the local government units. They spent for the “hakot” crowds brought by bus to listen to the candidates’ speeches, and also for the entertainers.

The only thing that the senatorial candidates spent for were the millions of pesos given to their local supporters. This is why I say that if you are a senatorial candidate, you should have your own money.

The entry of Mar Roxas and Juan Ponce Enrile, if these could be confirmed, in the Senate race makes the polls more exciting. Now at least the opposition has a fighting chance. Aside from Roxas, Senator Bam Aquino and former Rep. Erin Tanada, the opposition lineup is, at best, so-so.

From the looks of it, here are the possible winners—Grace Poe, Cynthia Villar, Nancy Binay, Sonny Angara and Koko Pimentel. There is also Pia Cayetano, Jinggoy Estrada, Lito Lapid and Imee Marcos who, with Enrile, can carry the solid north.

* * *

There is a lot of misinformation on inflation. I am no economist but I was business editor for many years. I know that inflation occurs when there is an oversupply of money and not much production of goods and services.

Thus, when the supply of money outpaces the supply of goods and services, prices go up. Inflation is not caused by greedy businessmen who hoard rice, or by global developments like the high price of oil in the world market, oor TRAIN. While they contribute to high prices, they do not cause inflation.

The oversupply of money is due to the remittance of OFWs which have increased because of the depreciation of the peso, savings and current accounts in banks, and government spending under the Build Build Build infrastructure program of the government.

Inflation is no mystery at all!

* * *

With the soft opening of Boracay Island, the question is whether the government can also do a cleanup of Manila Bay. It has become Metro Manila’s toilet.

The government has shown it could get things done in Boracay. Manila Bay should be the next challenge.

* * *

I have been talking to a businessmen who usually funds local and national candidates. He told me that when the election period begins, he will take a vacation abroad. He also told me he had already set aside money for those he thinks will win.

There are candidates that do not seem to stand a chance of winning but who get funded anyway—and it’s like they have won the lotto.

I am reminded of a former PNP chief who was always running for senator. He always knew he would not win, but he always hoped for contributions anyway. Indeed the election is an opportunity to extort money from friends.

Topics: Christopher “Bong” Go , Rodrigo Duterte , Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism , Comelec , TRAIN Law
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